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Thread: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weight

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    La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weight

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys, im looking at a 1Group Cimbali M20 (about 16yrs old), but the problem is its in Melbourne and i need it in Qld.

    As luck would have it, i have some relatives coming up from Melbourne this weekend, and i would love to be able to get them to bring it up on the plane with them (wish they were driving hehe).

    However ive heard that these can be quite heavy, with some quoting the Junior Ds as being close to 40kgs, and the maximum single-item weight for hold-baggage on either Qantas or Virgin is 32kgs.

    Firstly, does anyone know of the weight of one of these machines?

    Secondly, lets say its over 32kgs, is there any way i can trim the beast to get it under the 32kg mark?

    As there are 2 passengers coming up at least, if theres anything i can remove that will get the weight down, i can just put those bits in another persons luggage.

    Given that i dont really know what they look like inside, or what you can and cant remove off these things, i was hoping for some help.

    Anyone got any suggestions?

    Cheers,

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Dont know the exact weight but the 2 group is "just" able to be lifted by two people! (the single would be a lighter- but not half the weight) :-/

    Most of the weight is in the chassis / boiler / brass fittings including the group head assembly.....

    You can remove the drain tray, the cup walming trays, the end plates at either end of the walming tray - vertical bits which are painted (and of course the group handle) but that wont save too much....

    To reduce further would reqire MAJOR dissassembly :(

    And of course drain the boiler!!!

    But I would suggest a courier..... the airline might get a bit funny when they Xray the luggage.... (and they do) >:(

    It could look like something real nasty!!! Do you really want to cause your friends that sort of grief???

    And airlines are often not very careful with passanger luggage - even items marked fragile!!! (Ive seen a passanger bag which fell off a wagon run over- and baggage thrown from the hold onto the wagon below!!!)

    Courier + insurance = safe arrival ;)

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    However you end up transporting it, make sure that at no point is it subjected to freezing temperatures!!!

    Even with the boiler drained water will remain in the piping, the pump, and the heat exchanger. None of which youd like the end result of them being frozen.

    The single heaviest part in the machine will be the grouphead with the pump motor most likely being next in line. Unless youre planning on a complete teardown and descaling of it when it arrives I would advise against removing the grouphead. The motor on the other hand is relatively easy to remove and would not require that you buy any new parts to put it back on unlike the grouphead (gaskets).

    Ive never weighed one of the groupheads on my machine but Ive seen figures as high as 10kg for the Cimbali groupheads.

    If its motor/pump arrangement is like my M-28 you can remove the motor by loosening/removing a single screw on the band connecting the two, unplug the motor from the electrical harness, and remove the 4 bolts holding the motor to the frame. When reassymbling make sure to line the motor up with the pump.

    Java "Theyre called Tanks for a reason!" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Oh yeah, well im looking at Courier too, especially as we have a business courier account, but the only problem is it will take too long! unless i pay for express or something hehe. By the time i can get it picked up, wont be here till Tuesday-ish.

    As for the x-ray, i wont put the actual machine in their bags. Will just wrap it in a heap of big-bubble bubble wrap, and maybe some packing foam in a box and have it there as a seperate baggage item.
    Only thing in their luggage would be group handles, and they should be okay as its not in carry-on baggage....or sharp for that matter.

    I think your ticket includes a certain amount of insurance which is more than i would be paying for the machine anyway, so im not toooo worried.

    I mean, if it cant be done, i will just have it freighted up, but id like it this weekend if possible which isnt going to happen otherwise. (im so damn impatient hehe ).

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Weight can be reduced by removing side panels(one screw only) rear panel (4 screws) top tray, group handle drip tray and water tank if fitted. This should bring it down to around 20kgs at the expense of some structural bracing. This is what I do if I need to move it, saves my back as dry weight is pretty close to 40kgs for the tank model, less for plumbed I think.

    Be very careful with the packing if you need to freight it and make sure its insured for damage
    good luck

    Maurice

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/0#3 date=1155107305

    As for the x-ray, i wont put the actual machine in their bags. Will just wrap it in a heap of big-bubble bubble wrap, and maybe some packing foam in a box and have it there as a seperate baggage item.

    I think your ticket includes a certain amount of insurance which is more than i would be paying for the machine anyway, so im not toooo worried.

    .
    Hold baggage is Xrayed ----- looking for bombs and other terrorist type objects!!!

    From memory, insurance on luggage is $100 per item (if you paid less than that you have a real steal) :)

    Best of luck - hope it arrives in one piece, however you decide to ship it.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1155104339/0#2 date=1155107048
    However you end up transporting it, make sure that at no point is it subjected to freezing temperatures!!!
    Good point.....

    I hadnt thought of the temperature inside the unpressurised hold!

    I know it is -40C outside the plane and the normal baggage holds get cold

    I wonder if it would be cold enough to freeze water in the pipes etc (which as you say, would be near impossible to drain) :-/

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1155104339/0#6 date=1155110486
    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1155104339/0#2 date=1155107048
    However you end up transporting it, make sure that at no point is it subjected to freezing temperatures!!!
    Good point.....

    I hadnt thought of the temperature inside the unpressurised hold!

    I know it is -40C outside the plane and the normal baggage holds get cold

    I wonder if it would be cold enough to freeze water in the pipes etc (which as you say, would be near impossible to drain) :-/

    Yeah thats a good point, hadnt thought of that, although dont they put Pets in the cargo hold?


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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Yep but in a special pressurised hold....

    Not the normal luggage hold (animals in there die - partly due to lack of oxygen but also the cold!!)

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Crap, that could be a problem.

    Does this mean both taking it on a plane, and express(air) freight is out of the question entirely?

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Id check to see how cold it gets.....

    It might not get below zero, but would be pitty to wreck a great machine if it does.

    A freight agent could possibly arrange to have it shipped in an appropriate hold if the normal baggage hold does get that cold. They do ship perishables which are damaged by freezing.....

    Give the freight area of one of the airlines a ring..... might just be OK shipped normally.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Having noted your enthousiasm to get the M20 there, a couple of warnings might be useful so you dont damage it on arrival

    Firstly if it is the original rotory pump - and that is most likely- they like pressure on the supply side (plumbed to mains). This should be between 3 and 6 bars.

    Less than 3 bars and you risk damaging the pump and greater than 6 bars and you might get leakage at the group etc. :(

    So you cant feed it from a tank (there are some rotory pumps which will draw from a tank.... this aint one of them.... if you are going to use a tank it needs to be 30M above the machine :o

    If the mains pressure is >6 bars you need a pressure regulator (Cimbali say this is essential - ignore at your risk!) :-*

    The boiler will be empty. The power switch has two positions

    1. all electronics including auto fill
    2. as above plus heater.

    So turn to position 1 and wait until the little green ball in the level tube is between min and max (good idea to wait until it stops filling - probably 2/3 to 3/4 up from min towards max).

    then switch to position 2

    If you dont wait you will cook the elements! Nasty >:(

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Oh thanks, there are some pretty timely warnings there, as i probably would have done quite a few of those without thinking.

    For instance, id already forumlated a plan to get started before plumbing it in by using a tank to put the hose in (heheh).

    As for supply side pressure, how do i check that?


    As for the plane hold, i dont think thats an option anymore, relatives arnt coming up anymore, so its back to normal courier, and a Tuesday unfortunately. Oh well, at least they dont have to pull it apart and get quizzed about the stainless steel panels in their luggage. hehe.


    Thanks again for the tips.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/0#12 date=1155132262

    As for supply side pressure, how do i check that?
    You could beg/borrow a pressure gauge.....

    But I know most domestic water supplies are around 4-6Bar. So I coupled the M20 up.... carefully turned on the water supply whilst watching the bottom guage (with the power off)..... In my case it went up to 5 Bar... sweet. :)

    If it went above 6Bar I intended to turn the water off QUICKLY and go buy a pressure regulator. I figure a very short burst at above 6Bar wouldnt do any damage (the pipes are designed for the brew pressure of 9Bar after which the over pressure relief will operate).

    That way you wont need any additional gear.

    By the way, if your water is hard, it would be a good idea to have a water softener before the machine (mine came with one). If you need one, or a pressure regulator, Bunnings have them.

    I think the delay in getting the machine might be good, it is always possible something could be damaged when people try to pull the unit apart (if they dont know what they are doing).....

    Im sure you will be very pleased with the unit when it finally gets to you.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/0#12 date=1155132262
    Oh thanks, there are some pretty timely warnings there, as i probably would have done quite a few of those without thinking.

    For instance, id already forumlated a plan to get started before plumbing it in by using a tank to put the hose in (heheh).

    As for supply side pressure, how do i check that?


    Thanks again for the tips.
    is it a rotary or vibe pump? *Mine is a vibe pump and requires main pressure *for the boiler autofill but the dosing chamber will fill from about a 2 meter *gravity feed.

    as far as I know most rotary pumps eg procons will happily feed from a reservoir once primed but I dont know what early model cimbalis used.

    Rotary pumps are very suscpetible to damge if run dry whilst vibe pumps are more forgiving (for a short period only).

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by mauricem link=1155104339/0#14 date=1155167075

    is it a rotary or vibe pump?
    Yep the M20 series use rotary pumps.... and boy are they expensive if you damage one!! ($315 +GST from Coffee Parts)

    You could prob replace it with a procon (which would not need mains pressure) but the "as supplied" one does - Cimbali are very specific. Not sure if you would have to get a modified motor coupling - or a different motor? :(

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1155104339/15#15 date=1155167623
    Quote Originally Posted by mauricem link=1155104339/0#14 date=1155167075

    is it a rotary or vibe pump? *
    Yep the M20 series use rotary pumps.... and boy are they expensive if you damage one!! ($315 +GST from Coffee Parts)

    *:(
    maybe Im confused but I thought the M20 was the model number for the junior and my plumbed jnr definitley has a vibe pump fitted.

    I know current model Jnrs/M21s all use rotary pumps but mine is 6 years old and the one Zakal is looking at is 16 years old.

    OK, just found this quote from a cimbali rep on homebarista
    <http://www.home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1661&start=20>

    "For instance, the old M-20 Junior DT/1 used a vibratory pump to reach brew pressure"

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    The M20 series is about 16 years old and came in 1,2,3 and I think there was even a 4 group.

    They were all designed for cafe use...... and they are beautiful machines. (I have the 2 group version)

    Im assuming that this really is the "old " machine and not a new Junior and that the single group had the same pump- maybe the 1 group did use a vib- but I thought they were all the same.

    An old M20 single sold for $699 on Ebay a couple of days ago.




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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Yeah that was the one, unfortunately it turns out that it was made in 1983, some 23yrs ago, and not the 15yrs advertised.

    Additionally, im told it was a manual and not a semi-auto as advertised.

    And it leaked from around the portafilter, hardly something youd expect from a machine supposedly serviced a few weeks ago.

    I consider those misrepresentations to render any contract for purchase void, and now will not be buying that machine.

    So i guess the freight issue is now also redundant, and now the search for a suitable machine continues.


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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/15#18 date=1155184858
    And it leaked from around the portafilter, hardly something youd expect from a machine supposedly serviced a few weeks ago.
    Gee, that sure is a lot of "lies" that were told when selling the unit!

    Just out of interest, the Cafe owner I bought mine from had it serviced a short time before sale. He told me that when I said that I was going to replace the group seals etc.....

    Well I replaced them anyhow-

    very difficult to get the group apart (grinds and coffee oils) and the - normally soft - seal was brittle (even chipped round the edges). I found a few other probs and fixed them as well. Spoke to him some time later (to warn him not to use the same service firm)! >:(

    He said he had been charged for the replacement gaskets etc.... and they had charged him several times the price I paid for the same bits from Coffee Parts... AND HADNT REPLACED THEM!!!

    So there are shonky service organisations out there - as well as sellers.

    Best of luck next time.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Yeah, well im not really too fussed as to who said what to whom (whether it was a shonky service guy saying he replaced it, or no service guy at all), as far as im concerned, im just prepared to leave it where it is and forget about it.

    Im just glad i sent someone around to check it out before it was paid for, and in the hands of a courier, cos then i woudlnt have known if it was always leaking, or if the couriers had damaged it or something.
    This way i know exactly, and before its too late.

    Oh well.
    Might have to stick to machines that are a bit more local so i can check them out myself in future.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/15#18 date=1155184858
    Yeah that was the one, unfortunately it turns out that it was made in 1983, some 23yrs ago, and not the 15yrs advertised.

    Additionally, im told it was a manual and not a semi-auto as advertised.

    And it leaked from around the portafilter, hardly something youd expect from a machine supposedly serviced a few weeks ago.

    I consider those misrepresentations to render any contract for purchase void, and now will not be buying that machine.

    So i guess the freight issue is now also redundant, and now the search for a suitable machine continues.
    Are you sure of the terms being used? A Manual machine has a lever you pull to force water through the puck. A Semi-auto has a switch to turn the pump on and off.

    If its item 130011805840 then its a semi-auto as labeled, not a manual.

    If the only problem with the machine is leaking around the portafilter Id say you got it for a great price. A new gasket for the grouphead is only a couplea bucks.

    These machines are highly sought after here in the US. One rarely comes on the market and when it does its snapped up instantly, usually at an outragous price. Ive seen them go for well over twice the price you paid.

    Java "You might want to reconsider" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    oops yeah sorry, didnt mean manual, meant that you had to turn the water off manually. hehe.
    Is what im talking about volumetric?


    I think given the amateur status of everyone using the machine, we would have to draw the line there, as ive actually been talking everyone down from a super-auto, and if they arnt able to use pre-set volumes, i think they might torpedo the whole idea.

    Either way, on that point it was validly advertised, and i would retract any contention i had with that point.

    However what worries is me more than anything is not the age of the machine, as i know they are designed to last for ages, but im worried about why there was a need to make things up anyway.

    Its nowhere near the advertised age, and given the type of machine, if stated at the start, it wouldnt be that big of a deal.

    I had actually heard three ages of the machine: 15yrs from the ad, 23yrs from the stamp/plate on the machine, and apparently the guy told the person i sent that they had owned it for 18years....which is longer than the machine existed.


    However its not merely the leak that caused me concern, as i guessed at teh same cause as you did, but the fact they said it was serviced recently, which by rights should have fixed this. Suggesting the machine hasnt been serviced regularly, or at the very least, serviced in a haphazard way for some time which ends up in basically the same result for the condition of the machine.


    Its a bit of a complicated web, although if i was more sure of my ability to pull one apart and rebuild it, i might be tempted to take it anyway.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1155104339/15#21 date=1155196273


    These machines are highly sought after here in the US. One rarely comes on the market and when it does its snapped up instantly, usually at an outragous price. Ive seen them go for well over twice the price you paid.

    Java "You might want to reconsider" phile
    When you say "these machines" are your referring to cimbali jnrs generally or old Cimbalis that may have become collectable due to their age or rarity?

    I know Cimablis are relatively more expensive in the US compared to here in Aus.

    Maurice "Wondering if i should take "jnr" on a one way trip to the land of javaphile "*;)

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/15#22 date=1155204282
    oops yeah sorry, didnt mean manual, meant that you had to turn the water off manually. hehe.
    Is what im talking about volumetric?


    I think given the amateur status of everyone using the machine, we would have to draw the line there, as ive actually been talking everyone down from a super-auto, and if they arnt able to use pre-set volumes, i think they might torpedo the whole idea.
    The M20 I have is volumetric- Cimbali usually call those models Dosatron. They are regarded as "automatic" as they control the water temperature, water pressure and volume of water delivered.

    Given the users you mentioned above, Id be concerned about any HX machine - volumetric or not.

    After a short time idle the water in the heat exchanger gets to the boiler temp..... If you load, lock and push the button you get water at 120C or thereabouts into the coffee grounds.. :-[

    Result. Burnt coffee -YUK >:(

    You need to do a "cooling regime" - discharge water through the group before you use it - just enough to cool the path to brew temp - then wait a short time - lock the group in and hit the brew switch.

    If you are making coffees all the time you dont need this proceedure, or if you are making one just after someone else has....

    If you are concerned about them being able (or wanting) to turn the water flow off when they have extracted enough, then this cooling would, to me at least, mean they would have an even bigger problem.

    HX machines are fantastic, but you need to have - or be prepared to develop - expertise in their use.....

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    yeah i was aware of the flushing required with the HXs, but on a plumbed in machine i really dont see that as being as big of an issue as someone turning the flow on, turning their back for a bit while they do something else, and coming back to an overflowing cup.

    And also, i can rationalise the HX procedure by saying that the HX is a better system...how do i explain having to sit there watching the volume of water flow as being an advantage?

    And like i said before, its a matter of drawing the line somewhere, ive got them off the superautos, thats the most important thing, dont want to overload them with too much at once. ;)

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/15#22 date=1155204282
    oops yeah sorry, didnt mean manual, meant that you had to turn the water off manually. hehe.
    Is what im talking about volumetric?
    The 4 types of espresso machines and their defining characteristics are:
    • Manual - A lever operated piston pulled by hand.
    • Semi-automatic - An electric pump manually turned on and off with a switch.
    • Automatic - An electric pump that once activated by a single push of a button sends a set amount of water through the grouphead.
    • Super-automatic - A single push of a button causes the beans to be ground, tamped, and brewed.


    I think given the amateur status of everyone using the machine, we would have to draw the line there, as ive actually been talking everyone down from a super-auto, and if they arnt able to use pre-set volumes, i think they might torpedo the whole idea.
    If they cant deal with watching the stream of extracted espresso and turning the pump off when it starts to blond how are they ever going to deal with all the intracicies of adjusting the grind, dosing correctly, and getting a proper tamp? Not to mention frothing milk properly.

    I had actually heard three ages of the machine: 15yrs from the ad, 23yrs from the stamp/plate on the machine, and apparently the guy told the person i sent that they had owned it for 18years....which is longer than the machine existed.


    However its not merely the leak that caused me concern, as i guessed at teh same cause as you did, but the fact they said it was serviced recently, which by rights should have fixed this. Suggesting the machine hasnt been serviced regularly, or at the very least, serviced in a haphazard way for some time which ends up in basically the same result for the condition of the machine.


    Its a bit of a complicated web, although if i was more sure of my ability to pull one apart and rebuild it, i might be tempted to take it anyway.
    I would always assume that any machine that has been in a commercial environment for more than 5 years is going to need to be disassembled for cleaning, descaling, and replacement of internal filters and jets in addition to dialing in its pressure.

    Typically a full on-site servicing of an espresso machine involves back-flushing the head(s), checking the electrical and mechanical functioning of the machine, checking for leaks, and the replacement of external filters and the grouphead gasket, and thats it. Descaling if done at all is accomplished by putting some citric acid in the boiler by removing the overpressure safety valve, warming the boiler up, and after a few minutes draining it.

    As a result when buying a used commercial machine the safest bet is to always assume that it will require at least a partial tear-down for a complete descaling of both the boiler/heating element and the heat exchanger, even if it has been regularly serviced over the years. Assumming anything else is just setting yourself up for headaches down the road.

    The machine may very well have been serviced recently. With-out being told the specifics of what that servicing entailed, saying that a machine has been serviced is a meaningless statement.

    This is why getting detailed specific information from a seller is so important.

    Java "The Devil is in the details!" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by mauricem link=1155104339/15#23 date=1155206753
    When you say "these machines" are your referring to cimbali jnrs generally or old Cimbalis that may have become collectable due to their age or rarity?

    I know Cimablis are relatively more expensive in the US compared to here in Aus.

    Maurice "Wondering if i should take "jnr" on a one way trip to the land of javaphile " ;)
    Any single group commercial machine goes for a premium price here in the US due to all the home enthusiasts wanting one with Cimbalis topping the list for desirability.

    I havent been watching the prices on them currently but back as recently as a year ago when I was keeping an eye out for a unit for a friend 2-group machines were selling for as little as $100USD while the single group commercial machines were usually up around $750USD with a Cimbali in good shape being able to fetch $1,000USD or even more. These prices are for recent (up too 25-30 years old) models with the older semi-autos fetching a higher price than the newer autos.

    Machines made in the 1960s or earlier would be getting into the collectable classification and for them the sky is the limit for price.

    Few home users have the space, power, and plumbing requirements for a commercial 2-group machine. As a result the larger commercial machines can be had for a song while the single group machines are in high demand among home users and so go for a much higher price. As an example I got a Cimbali M-52 super-auto that lists for $23,000USD for $35USD and my Cimbali M-28 2-group cost me $250 and included 2 Mazzer Super Jolly grinders.

    Java "Likes high quality but not high prices" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/15#25 date=1155225745
    yeah i was aware of the flushing required with the HXs, but on a plumbed in machine i really dont see that as being as big of an issue as someone turning the flow on, turning their back for a bit while they do something else, and coming back to an overflowing cup.

    And also, i can rationalise the HX procedure by saying that the HX is a better system...how do i explain having to sit there watching the volume of water flow as being an advantage?
    If theyre willing/able to put the effort into learning how to properly grind, dose, tamp, flush, and foam having to watch the extraction and turning the pump off when it starts to blond should be a no brainer. If theyre not willing/able to do that simple thing then Id give really high odds that theyll never get the rest of the procedures down to where they can consistantly make a good cuppa and theyd be better off sticking with a super-auto.

    HXs whether semi-automatic or automatic not only require training in their and their peripherals use but attention to detail as well. If that attention is lacking so is the cuppa.

    Java "Details, details, details!" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Zakal1, how many "theys" are there? *If youre talking about only your partner, then there are plenty of households where only one person makes the coffee. *If youre talking about your children, thats different - if they are old enough to drink coffee then they are old enough to deal with a bit of technology (and will probably wind up teaching your partner). *If you are talking about "housemates" they can buy their own machines.....

    I guess what Im saying is that Ive been watching you put a lot of time and effort into finding the right machine. *Since you are the one who seems to be going to all the trouble then you should get the machine that you want to have fun with and let your household sort it out from there. *You cant please everyone :)

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    "they" would include my parents and older siblings (im kinda the one charged with research and purchase reccomendations hehe), and of course myself. Will probably be about 4-5 of us using the machine, although like you say, probably only 2 regularly.

    However another reason i wanted the a volumetric machine, was so i could try and work out some basic parameters for grind settings, dosing, tamping, that could be performed repeatedly with some degree of success by those who use the machine less, but for some reason need to make coffee.

    If it can eliminate water volume as a variable, its just one less thing that can be stuffed up.
    Although i think im going to have a bigger problem getting them to get teh dosing right at first anyway.

    But still, the fewer variables the better, from what i hear, those pre-set amounts can be adjusted anyway, so if i need semi-auto function, i can do that (i think).


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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/30#30 date=1155280849

    But still, the fewer variables the better, from what i hear, those pre-set amounts can be adjusted anyway, so if i need semi-auto function, i can do that (i think).
    Agreed!

    Unfortunately mechines of the vintage you are looking at (like mine) only have preset amounts (and a manual start/stop function). So it can be used as a semi-auto as well if desired.

    Programmable volumes is a relatively recent innovation- and machines with this function will be expensive.

    Also a volumetric machine has a lot more electronics- meaning more prone to problems. If the circuit board in a Cimbali fails you are looking at many hundreds of dollars for a new board.... ( if you can get one!) compared to a few dollars for a switch in the semi autos.

    Many people stay away from fully autos for this reason- but Im prepared to take the risk (especially seeing my background is computer hardware and electronics)...

    If the board fails fails, I can always convert it to a semi auto 8-)

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    With everything else being exactly identical each varietal will blond at a different volume.

    For the home user Coffee Snob a volumetric dosing machine is bells and whistles as they will be paying attention to the blonding point time and not the volume amount.

    In a busy commercial setting where the same bean/blend/roast is being brewed all the time is where volumetric dosing comes into its own.

    I think youre concentrating on something that really doesnt matter in the end and can actually be a very large detriment.

    The most common thing to break on the commercial machines is guess what. The touch pad and the brainbox, with repair costs of hundreds of dollars and a machine thats inoperable until theyre repaired. The machine youre looking at has neither. Its all mechanical switches and relays and as such is FAR less likely to suffer a break-down than a machine equipped with a volumetric dosing system.

    If I were offered 2 Cimbalis of the same model at the same price I would choose the semi-auto with the mechanical innards over the automatic with the electronic innards every time!!

    If the machine heats up to temp properly, and the auto-fill, switches, pressure relief relay, and pump have been verified to work (I assume the machine was seen running and these things checked as you know it leaks around the portafilter) and the only problem is the grouphead gasket needing replacement I think youll be hard pressed to find a better machine at the price it went for and youll be kicking yourself later if you pass on it. Especially as it appears that it is the full-blown commercial model (per a previous post it has a rotary pump and not a vib) and not the later lite model made for home use.

    This machine is one of the most sought after espresso machines ever made and one that most people can only ever dream about owning due to its (todays equivilent model pricing) $5,000USD price tag.

    It may be old tech but its tech thats built like a tank which will run forever and not kill your pocketbook repairing fancy electronics.

    Java "Think long and hard before you pass!" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Yeah, its a good point, both about teh volumetrics and the machine.

    As ive said, its not teh age of teh machine, or even the semi-auto thing that bothers me, i dont trust the condition it could be in if the seller has been so loose with the truth on other aspects of it. You dont generally make things up in order to sell a great machine. Instead of the problems and inconsistencies i DID discover, im more worried about the ones that i havent. If i kick myself for letting it go, it wont be nearly as much as ill be kicking myself if i ignore my instincts and buy it anyway, and it turns out that they have frequently used it fed out of a tank (as warned against earlier in this thred) as they were when my viewer saw it; or that its been years without servicing, or whatever.

    Back to the auto/semi-auto thing though, another Cimbali i was looking at (as mentioned previously) was Mauricems Junior D, and apparently that has a rotary switch to control different volumes, (which can be adjusted via steel rods), and can also be used as a semi-auto if desired.

    I dont really understand how it works, but it doesnt sound like there are any electronics, and its not a "programmable" shot button as such (A, cos its a switch, and B, you dont just hold down the button while you set the shot time to change it).

    So something like that, as far as i can tell (and please correct me if im mistaken, hehe), gets me the best of both worlds.

    In case you havent noticed, im a bit of a bet-hedger ;).

  35. #35
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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    The Cimbali Junior D is not only volumetric, but it has programmable volumes...

    So heaps of electronics Im afraid!

    The flow of water to the group is measured by something resembling a small paddle wheel contained in a brass block through which the water is passed. This "flow meter" gives off a pulse (actually the light path between an LED and a photo-transistor in the block is broken) every rotation (or it could be multiple times per rotation - not sure)

    I dont know of any volumetric units (including consumer ones) which dont have a microprocessor control to count these pulses..... and even the water on/off (semi auto) function is done by that processor....

    Dead processor = no coffee + large expense!

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1155104339/30#34 date=1155295564
    The Cimbali Junior D is not only volumetric, but it has programmable volumes...

    So heaps of electronics Im afraid!

    The flow of water to the group is measured by something resembling a small paddle wheel contained in a brass block through which the water is passed. This "flow meter" gives off a pulse (actually the light path between an LED and a photo-transistor in the block is broken) every rotation (or it could be multiple times per rotation - not sure)

    I dont know of any volumetric units (including consumer ones) which dont have a microprocessor control to count these pulses..... and even the water on/off (semi auto) function is done by that processor....

    Dead processor = no coffee + large expense!
    I think theres some confusion still with model numbers. Cimbalis current Junior n the D series is the DT1 and does indeed have complex electronics. My MY 2000 model D has no ICs and measures dose volume out of a dosing chamber where the volume is determined by a conductive rod. Its still more complex than my S model which is simply on or off.
    My sites down at the moment but I temporarily threw some pics up on a mates site here
    http://www.whalesong.com.au/temp

    hope this helps

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by mauricem link=1155104339/30#35 date=1155299871
    MY 2000 model D has no ICs and measures dose volume out of a dosing chamber where the volume is determined by a conductive rod. Its still more complex than my S model which is simply on or off.
    My sites down at the moment but I temporarily threw some pics up on a mates site here
    http://www.whalesong.com.au/temp

    hope this helps
    Thanks for that.

    That is an interesting, yet simple idea.

    As you said, more complex than a semi-auto but a lot less to go wrong than with a "normal" full auto. I guess when the water touches the end of the rod it operates a relay and the flow stops (as per the auto fill for the boiler).

    It would be interesting to know what model Juniors have each method. The Commercial units have used the flow meter for >20 years - but obviously the junior is different .....

    Your model would be far better for domestic use.

    EDIT: Ive just been looking at the photos trying to figure out how it works :-/

    Can you please describe what happens?

    My guess is water flows into the dosing unit from the tank until it touches the metal rod. No more water is admitted and then the vib pump pushes it out to the group..... The dosing unit doesnt look like it could withstand 9 Bars.

    Is that correct? In which case it couldnt be used with a mains supply (or even a rotary pump??) which maybe why the new model Juniors have gone the the commercial type dosing method.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Well that model D is a plumbed in model if thats what you mean, but yeah, i was surprised to see what looks like plastic there.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Hi Zakal1,

    I think what Java is trying to say, is that regardless of what maintenance may be required to put your Cimbali into reliable service, for the price you have paid youre still way out in front. These machines are so well built that short of the unit falling out of the back of a low flying aeroplane, its worth having, putting in the necessary elbow grease, minimal cash, a bit of spit and polish and then Voilą 8-)..... one fantastic espresso machine that will last a lifetime of domestic use. It shouldnt be a difficult decision really but Im sure that if you dont want it, there will be a mini-stampede from other CSers to pay up and take it home ::),

    Mal.

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Zakal1 link=1155104339/30#33 date=1155290738
    ...i dont trust the condition it could be in if the seller has been so loose with the truth on other aspects of it.
    What has he been so loose with? From what has been said the only thing that wasnt accurately described was its age. I find that when people are talking about a machine theyve owned in a business for 10 years or more that the age they assign to it is very frequently not accurate. In point of fact I find that they are rarely correct in how old they think the machine is and are sometimes off by a decade or more. Not because they are intentionally lying but because when dealing with something bought that long ago dates get very fuzzy. This is especially true in a business where many other things have been bought and replaced over the course of 20+ years.

    As to his being loose with the machine having been recently serviced it sounds like this may be semantics. To you recently may mean with-in the last month. For him having owned the machine for over 20 years recently may mean with-in the last year. Until you get specific details from him of the date of servicing and what was done to it you just dont know.

    The statement "The machine was serviced recently" tells you nothing at all unless you are given specific dates and the work done on them. One persons recent is another persons ancient.

    If i kick myself for letting it go, it wont be nearly as much as ill be kicking myself if i ignore my instincts and buy it anyway, and it turns out that they have frequently used it fed out of a tank (as warned against earlier in this thred) as they were when my viewer saw it
    When I bought my Cimbali M-28 I paid a visit to the local Cimbali dealer (Im lucky enough to have one of the few dealers in the country just a few kms from my home) and was talking to the head tech there and he stated to me that the reason Cimbali says they must be plumbed in is not because theyre not capable of being run from a tank, but rather that it is because that if they are run from a tank and the tank runs dry the pump can be destroyed. He told me they always run their machines from tanks at trade shows etc. and that as long as the tank wasnt allowed to run dry that I could run my machine that way indefinitely.

    Someone with a more intimate knowledge of these pumps (Chris?) correct me if Im wrong, but looking at the pump it appears that the reason they die if run dry is the water is no longer there to act as a heat sink/lubricant and so the seal between the vane and the body gets hot and quickly wears and starts leaking. If this is the case and theres no sign of leakage from the pump then it should be fine.

    or that its been years without servicing, or whatever.
    When dealing with used machines more than a couple of years old I always assume that they will need a complete tear-down and cleaning/descaling. Regardless of what their claimed servicing history is!

    The machine may very well have been serviced in the not too distant past and the grouphead gasket replaced. The cause of its leaking may simply be old grounds on it or wear and tear from it never being cleaned of old grounds causing it to wear prematurely.

    Back to the auto/semi-auto thing though, another Cimbali i was looking at (as mentioned previously) was Mauricems Junior D, and apparently that has a rotary switch to control different volumes, (which can be adjusted via steel rods), and can also be used as a semi-auto if desired...

    <snip>

    ...So something like that, as far as i can tell (and please correct me if im mistaken, hehe), gets me the best of both worlds.
    Every time you add another part to a machine you increase the likelyhood of a breakdown. This is one of the big reasons why semi-autos are so highly sought after. They have the minimum number of parts needed to perform their job.

    While the old volumetric dosing chambers may not have any electronics they require additional relays and control circuits. A machine with 10 relays is twice as likely to suffer a breakdown as a machine with only 5 (this isnt the actual number of relays in the machines but is simply used as an example). Never having seen a dosing chamber personally I dont know how many additional relays/circuits its control system contains but I would imagine its at least double what a machine with-out such a system uses.

    The dosing chamber itself is yet another point of failure. Both its gaskets/seals as well as the chamber itself. The chamber is made from plastic. Plastic degrades over time becoming more brittle and susceptible to cracking. The more heat its exposed to the faster this occurs.

    The most common point of failure on the older Cimbalis with this style of volumetric dosing according to the local Cimbali tech? Uh-huh, you guessed it, the dosing system.

    This machine can be totally rebuilt (every gasket, o-ring, spring etc.) with only about $50 in parts and some time and elbow grease on your part.

    I have no vested interest in your buying this machine but Id hate to see you pass up what appears to be a great deal on a machine that with a little work will last you a lifetime with minimal repair costs.

    This machine is 23 years old and still working. How many of the current models with their fancy electronics do you think will still be working in 23 years?

    Java "Reliability over bells and whistles every time!" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1155104339/30#38 date=1155306429
    Hi Zakal1,

    I think what Java is trying to say, is that regardless of what maintenance may be required to put your Cimbali into reliable service, for the price you have paid youre still way out in front. These machines are so well built that short of the unit falling out of the back of a low flying aeroplane, its worth having, putting in the necessary elbow grease, minimal cash, a bit of spit and polish and then Voilą 8-)..... one fantastic espresso machine that will last a lifetime of domestic use. It shouldnt be a difficult decision really
    Precisely Mal! :) :) :)

    Im sure that if you dont want it, there will be a mini-stampede from other CSers to pay up and take it home ::),

    Mal.
    Indeed! In fact Id even go so far as to suggest that if Zakal decides not to buy this machine that he post/offer the details of where its located and the contact info for the person there so some other CSer can snap it up at that price before it gets relisted on evilbay. Im sure there will be no shortage of takers!

    Java "Would love to have it!" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1155104339/30#36 date=1155301332

    EDIT: Ive just been looking at the photos trying to figure out how it works :-/

    Can you please describe what happens?

    My guess is water flows into the dosing unit from the tank until it touches the metal rod. No more water is admitted and then the vib pump pushes it out to the group..... The dosing unit doesnt look like it could withstand 9 Bars.

    Is that correct? In which case it couldnt be used with a mains supply (or even a rotary pump??) which maybe why the new model Juniors have gone the the commercial type dosing method.
    Very quick and probably inaccurate description till I can find someone whos said it better or get time to explain it more clearly :-[
    The dosing unit is a *holding/measuring chamber, its not under mains or any pressure(apart from atmospheric ;)). A line plumbed from the mains admits water to the chamber via a solenoid valve whenever the level drops below a predetermined value. When the shot button is pushed a valve opens on the outlet side of the chamber to gravity feed the vibe pump. when the level in the chamber drops by the programmed shot volume outlet valve closes, pump stops and inlet valve opens to refill chamber.

    It all looked like a bit wierd to me a first, a bit like left over props form a bgrade sci-fi movie but the Cimbali techs I spoke to reckon it was a simple and robust solution which should last 20 years+ in a commercial setting

    JavaPhile I cant share your enthusiasm for the old M20 which was the original subject of this thread. Ive been watching Cimbali prices over here for some time now and whilst I agree it could almost definitely be restored for not too many $ its really not a great buy in terms of *other units that have gone before it. Maybe for someone local (to the seller in melbourne) but by the time you add $100+ freight and the uncertainty of what happens to it in transit I personally would keep looking preferably for a machine out of a non commercial enviro.

  43. #43
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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Ive not seen a good test regimen for a used machine posted anywhere on here so in light of the current discussion I thought Id write one up.

    This is intended for this specific machine but with a few tweaks can easily be used for any espresso machine.

    First off give the machine a good visual going over. Remove the side/back panels and look for any rust, corrosion, or signs of water leaks (Need I warn about being aware of doing this when the machine is plugged in whether or not its powered up?). Leave these panels off for now. Is the power cord or any other electrical wires frayed? Are there any obviously missing parts such as the tip of the steam arm or the hot water fill spout?

    Looking at the pics on ebay of the machine under discussion I cant tell if the tip of the steam arm and the hot water spigot are present or not. If the tip of the steam arm is missing Id suggest replacing the entire arm. It costs $35AUD from one of our site sponsors (http://www.coffeeparts.com.au/cim/cim2.html).

    Turn the main switch one click. This is the fill boiler position. If the boiler is already filled then nothing will appear to happen with the switch in this position. Check the fill level in the sight glass and verify that the boiler is properly filled.

    Once this is done then turn the main power switch another click. The heater should now kick in and the boiler start to warm up. After a few minutes you will hear some steam escaping. This is normal and to be expected. The steam is coming from the vaccuum relief valve (located on the top of the boiler fill level sight glass assembly) and should only last a short time before the valve seals and the pressure in the boiler then starts to build. If this valve continues to spit a small amount of steam then it needs to be descaled and a new gasket ($1) put in it.

    If no escaping steam is heard before the boiler comes up to pressure then the vaccuum relief valve needs to be checked for sticking and descaled and its gasket replaced.

    Verify that the boiler comes up to the proper pressure by checking the gauge.

    To verify that the vaccuum relief valve has done its job once the boiler comes up to pressure open the steam arms valve (careful of hot water/steam coming out of the arm!) and let it run for a few seconds while watching the boiler pressure gauge. Does it register a large drop? If so descale and rebuild the vaccuum relief valve.

    While running the steam arm verify that it is getting good pressure through it. If some of the holes on the steam tip are not working it probably needs to be disassembled and pieces of old washers removed from it and descaled. If overall pressure from it is very low then the valve assembly most likely needs to be taken apart and old gasket pieces removed from it and cleaned/descaled.

    Do the same thing with the hot water tap. Open its valve and verify that it is working properly.

    While testing the hot water tap let it run at a medium flow rate while watching the boilers fill level and verify that the pump kicks in to refill the boiler before the minimum fill level is reached and that the pump then turns off with-out over-filling the boiler.

    The knob on the lower right of the machine is a manual fill lever. Pull the knob out and press down on it to manually fill the boiler. This will only work if the machine is hooked up to the water mains as it does not turn the pump on but simply opens a valve and uses the pressure of the water main to force water into the boiler.

    Once the boiler is up to pressure turn on the pump (the middle knob on the bottom front of the machine) and verify that water is pumped through the grouphead. Being aware that it will not be the proper temperature until the machine has been on for 30 minutes or more and the grouphead is brought up to temp.

    Next put on the portafilter with the blank/backflushing basket in it and lock it down. If the portafilter turns past pointing straight out from the machine the grouphead gasket is most likely worn and in need of replacment.

    Turn the pump on as if you were pulling a shot and look for leaks. Ideally this should be done with the top panels removed as well as the side and back panels as this will allow you a much better/easier viewing of the internal grouphead area. If the machine has a gauge for the pressure in the grouphead verify that it is about 9 bars and steady.

    Turn the pump off and listen/watch for the pressure relief relay/valve opening and discharging steam/water into the drip tray. This is done from a small copper pipe with a plastic funnel on its end that comes off the grouphead and runs down the back side of the front panel (the one with the gauges on it) ending just above the drip tray.

    There will only be a small amount of water/steam coming out of this pipe. If nothing comes out of it be aware that removing the portafilter before pressure is equilized will result in scalding hot water spraying from it!! If the pressure relief relay/valve does not work it may just be gunked up from not having been backflushed properly/regularly. A good backflushing with cleaner may fix the problem or if its really bad it may need to be taken apart and given a good cleaning/descaling. If that fails to work then the relay will need to be replaced.

    If the machine passes all these tests then its a fully functional machine just needing to be taken home and given a thorough cleaning and descaling before being put into use.

    Java "I think that covers it" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by mauricem link=1155104339/30#41 date=1155339585
    JavaPhile I cant share your enthusiasm for the old M20 which was the original subject of this thread. Ive been watching Cimbali prices over here for some time now and whilst I agree it could almost definitely be restored for not too many $ its really not a great buy in terms of other units that have gone before it. Maybe for someone local (to the seller in melbourne) but by the time you add $100+ freight and the uncertainty of what happens to it in transit I personally would keep looking
    That may well be Mauricem. I dont know what the pricing is like over there for the commercial Cimbali single head units. Here in the US they go for significantly more than the one under discussion sold for.

    If this machine is over-priced for the local market there and others are available for less then by all means pass on it and buy one of them.

    Running a quick search on evilbay for other Cimbalis that have sold on there in AUS however I find that the one under discussion is the only used one for as far back as ebay does their searches. This leads me to believe theyre not all that common and it may be a long time until another one like this becomes avaialble.

    Also be aware of the differences between the older commercial machines and the newer lite versions designed for home use that sell for half as much.

    preferably for a machine out of a non commercial enviro.
    Good luck finding a machine like this that wasnt in a commercial environment. Ive yet to see one that wasnt. In all the years Ive been looking/watching for one Ive only ever seen one single machine of this type that didnt come out of a commercial environment and that was one of the newer lite ones that had been used in a demo unit in a multi-million dollar condo development and it sold for over 3 times what this one went for.

    Again, I have no vested interest in this machine or in Cimbali in general and at the end of the day the decision is up too Zakal. All Ive said is simply my opinion and not knowing the details of the local area I could well be off the mark as to the value of the machine as Im on the opposite side of the planet. :D

    Java "The upsidedown" phile

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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1155104339/30#39 date=1155332862
    What has he been so loose with? From what has been said the only thing that wasnt accurately described was its age. I find that when people are talking about a machine theyve owned in a business for 10 years or more that the age they assign to it is very frequently not accurate. In point of fact I find that they are rarely correct in how old they think the machine is and are sometimes off by a decade or more. Not because they are intentionally lying but because when dealing with something bought that long ago dates get very fuzzy. This is especially true in a business where many other things have been bought and replaced over the course of 20+ years.

    As to his being loose with the machine having been recently serviced it sounds like this may be semantics. To you recently may mean with-in the last month. For him having owned the machine for over 20 years recently may mean with-in the last year. Until you get specific details from him of the date of servicing and what was done to it you just dont know.

    The statement "The machine was serviced recently" tells you nothing at all unless you are given specific dates and the work done on them. One persons recent is another persons ancient.

    Okay i should clarify:

    - the machine has clearly stamped on it "1983", the person i sent said they saw it straight away, while i agree you tend to forget how old things are when youve owned them for so long, its really a bit odd to do so when its so clearly displayed.

    - the statement wasnt "machine was serviced recently", it was "machine was serviced 2 weeks ago/ start of june"

    This creates two problems for me, firstly, 2 weeks ago wasnt the start of june OR july for that matter (and yes im working back 2 weeks from listing date), which means that this machine has been previously sold and relisted, or a failed sale and relisted (probably the latter more likely)

    Secondly, if it WAS serviced 2 weeks ago, or at least the start of june (2months ago), i would have thought that issue should have been addressed. Maybe 2 months is a long time, and the replacement parts have also failed.

    However, they are not using this machine anymore, and you would think havent been at least since originally listed, so i wouldnt think these things fail from new by themselves (though maybe it would be worse that way).

    Either way, hardly can be described as being in "excellent condition." maybe "excellent condition in lieu of its actual age."

    But anyway, unfortunately i dont think anyone saw inside the machine itself ( i should have reminded them to look there), but what is inside the cover-plates is still very much speculation with only the afforementioned circumstantial stuff to hint at what may be there.



    THanks a heap for that guide btw, im sure it will come in handy very soon.
    Its such a bloody nuisance living in Qld, all the machines that come up for sale pretty much are in Melb or NSW, and its just too damn far to go and have a look at in person.


  46. #46
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Hey Zakal,

    I understand your wariness. The seller may have just made innocent mistakes, or he may be lying through his teeth. Always hard to tell when youre not there in person.

    One way to help determine which one it is would be to ask for details such as what specifically was done when the machine was serviced. If the servicing was done recently as claimed in this ad and the person is vague or evasive in their answer then you know to steer clear of them as a business would certainly retain the receipt for tax purposes. :)

    Im glad you found my How to test post helpful. Good luck in your search for a new machine! :)

    Java "The more details the better" phile

  47. #47
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    241

    Re: La Cimbali M20, help me help it lose some weig

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    yeah, it was very helpful, i might have to print it out and take it with me when i go to look at any hehe ;).

    Ill look like a fool standing there following instructions haha.


    Anyway, back to the machine, apparently when quizzed about the age of the machine, the leak, and why it didnt macth up, the guy started getting a bit angry and defensive.

    Not really sure exactly how it happened, maybe my guy was a bit tactless or something im not sure, but there wernt any answers forthcoming to explain the discrepancies, and eventually he just had to say "well okay, have a nice day" and leave.



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